Navigating Workers’ Compensation Claims

Monday May 24, 2021

According to Australian work health and safety laws, if any work-related accident or injury happens while an employee is at work, employees should have access to first aid and workers’ compensation, as well as rehabilitation to help them return to work. As an employer, you have an obligation to cover anyone you employ for workers’ compensation, including contractors and sub-contractors, family members and working directors.

Workers’ compensation covers:

  • Physical injury
  • Mental health injury
  • Diseases that an employee may have contracted during their employment
  • Injuries while travelling for work
  • Recurrence of an existing disease or condition as a result of work
  • Aggravations of an existing disease or condition as a result of work

All employers know the importance of workers’ compensation, and most have workers’ compensation insurance in place, should a claim arise in their workplace. Workers’ compensation insurance protects your business from financial costs when a worker sustains a work-related injury or disease. It also protects injured workers by providing weekly payments to cover loss of earning capacity, payment of reasonable medical and rehabilitation expenses, and other entitlements.

However, the ins and outs of workers’ compensation can be complicated, especially as legislation varies from state to state across Australia.

As an Australian employer, it’s worth keeping the following workers’ compensation points in mind:

  • When an employee completes and provides you with a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form accompanied by a First Certificate of Capacity, you have five or ten working days to pass the documents to your insurer, depending on your state legislation.
  • Your insurer must assess the claim and advise you and the injured worker of their decision, in writing, within 14 days of receiving the claim.
  • Begin workers’ compensation payments without delay, consulting with your insurer regarding the amount.
  • Once payments begin, you are required to pay the worker in the usual manner and on their usual payday, unless notified by the insurer to cease payments.
  • Employers must keep an injured employee’s position available for 12 months from the day the employee is entitled to receive weekly payments.
  • If the injured worker attains partial or total capacity to work during this time, the employer must provide their original position, or another of equal status and pay for which they are qualified and capable of performing.
  • During the 12-month period, if the employer intends to dismiss the injured worker, 28 days’ notice of that intention must be given to the worker.

Workers’ compensation can be very complex so if you would like assistance with your claims, please get in touch with the HR Dept. We can help!

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